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The new University of East London (UEL) building is close to London City Airport and a four lane road. Noise therefore had to be tackled through achievement of high levels of sound insulation, making passive ventilation impossible.


Despite not being able to use passive ventilation, indoor air quality had to be maintained at a high standard. Rather than opt for an air conditioning solution, the design team applied a low energy solution that involved:

  • a low velocity circulation system that utilises hollow concrete ceiling planks; air is circulated through the ceiling into rooms and is returned via corridors through a heat exchanger

As air is not allowed to recirculate, a high level of indoor air quality is achieved using a low energy process. The combined capital and running costs of the system are about 60% of those for conventional air conditioning.

This approach to ventilation is particularly suitable for buildings that would otherwise require air conditioning because high levels of external noise necessitates a sealed building envelope.

Project team

University of East London

Turner and Townsend Project Management

Further information